The not in service ‘in service’ Myki reader

Myki has a reputation for being a complete balls up: and the Myki check device at the northbound tram stop outside Melbourne Central Station is no exception.

A completely nonsensical message - 'In service / Please use another myki check'

If a device is ‘in service’ then I should be able to use it – so why are you telling me to use another device?

I first spotted the nonsensical error message back on March 20. One week later on March 27 I went past it again, still showing the same screen.

Myki check reader at Melbourne Central still stuck 'In service'

Fast forward to the evening of April 7, when Twitter user @mttb123 posted a photo of the very same screen:

Soon after that @mykimate, the official Myki representative on Twitter, replied:

It seems that things work slowly at Myki towers, because when I went past again on April 10 the same ‘In service’ message was still being shown.

Broken for four weeks now: Myki check reader at Melbourne Central still stuck 'In service'


I’m going to assume that Myki equipment has some kind of remote monitoring software installed on them, so that if anything goes wrong, a service crew can be despatched to fix it. The blue Myki check readers are the possible exception, as they lack a network connection to talk back to the main Myki system.

And still more

A commenter mentioned that out-of-service Myki readers also display the same message. I found an example for myself the other week:

Myki reader onboard a tram, stuck with the nonsensical 'In service: Processing, please wait' message

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5 Responses to “The not in service ‘in service’ Myki reader”

  1. Jason says:

    I’m pretty sure I’ve seen this contradictory “In service” message on out-of-action myki readers as well.

    I’ve always assumed it was intentional, in that it is conveying “In service” in the sense that the machine was in the state of being serviced (as in being fixed).

    Or maybe I’m giving them too much credit, and the machines are just screwed up.

    Either way, it needs to get fixed.

    • Marcus says:

      Since I published this post, I’ve been told about a quirk of Indian English, where the phrase ‘in service’ often means the same thing as ‘in repairs’. Given the location of the Kamco’s team of software developers in Hyderabad, India – it all starts to make sense.

  2. enno says:

    Elevators have the same confusing verbal paradigm.

    When a lift is “in service”, it actually means that it isn’t in service for the “general public”. It means, it is “in service” for the lift mechanic, or the fire brigade, or the removalists, or the janitor…..

  3. […] via Southern Cross Station, when I was stopped in my tracks at the myki gates. I’m used to finding useless error messages displayed on myki readers, but this one sets a new standard for […]

  4. […] Myki equipment across the Melbourne tram network – readers rejecting user input while stuck displaying an “In service” message […]

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